Tesla Recalls Nearly All Vehicles in US to Fix Warning Lights Problem

US safety regulators said Tesla is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or deaths concerning the issue.
Tesla Recalls Nearly All Vehicles in US to Fix Warning Lights Problem
A sign marks the location of a Tesla dealership in Schaumburg, Ill., on April 19, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Lorenz Duchamps

Tesla is recalling roughly 2.2 million vehicles, or nearly all of its units sold in the United States, because the font sizes on warning lights are too small, according to U.S. safety regulators.

In documents issued on Feb. 1, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said warning lights with smaller font sizes can make critical safety information on instrument panels of the vehicles difficult to read, increasing the risk of a car accident.

To meet the required federal safety standards, Tesla must increase the font size of the visual warning indicators for the brake, park, and antilock brake system (ABS), the NHTSA said.

A safety recall report issued by the agency on Jan. 30 noted that Tesla is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or deaths concerning the warning light fonts.

The latest recall includes units across Tesla’s various models, including the 2012-2023 Model S, 2016-2024 Model X, 2017-2023 Model 3, 2019-2024 Model Y, and 2024 Cybertruck vehicles.

The software update will be done free of charge via over-the-air (OTA) programming, according to the NHTSA.

In late January, the electric carmaker began to release its OTA software update to fix the problem of certain affected vehicles, regulators said, noting owners are expected to be notified by letter starting on March 30.

The remaining affected vehicles will receive the same OTA software remedy with an upcoming release in early February.

According to the NHTSA, the issue was discovered in a routine safety compliance audit on Jan. 8 involving a 2023 Model Y.

In December, Tesla recalled just over two million vehicles in the United States to install new safeguards in its Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system to ensure drivers are paying attention when using such features.

On its website, Tesla stresses that its “Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving Capability” systems are intended for fully attentive drivers who have their hands on the wheel at all times and are ready to intervene at any moment.

The electric carmaker has been under scrutiny for its autonomous driving aid that is intended to enable cars to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically within their lane.

Probe Into Tesla Power Steering Loss

Separately, U.S. safety regulators announced on the same day the latest recall was issued that they’ve upgraded their probe into some Tesla vehicles over power steering loss to an engineering analysis—a required step before the NHTSA could demand a potential recall.

The agency said on Feb. 1 that the investigation covers about 334,000 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles from the 2023 model year.

The NHTSA, which had opened a probe in July of last year into loss of steering control in 280,000 Tesla Model 3 and Y vehicles, said it had identified 2,388 total complaints, with some reporting an inability to turn the steering wheel, while others reported an increase in the required effort to turn the steering wheel.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to Reuters, citing Tesla documents, tens of thousands of Tesla owners have experienced premature failures of suspension or steering parts over at least seven years.

The NHTSA said it is aware of over 50 vehicles allegedly towed as a result of the condition.

“A portion of drivers described their steering begin to feel ‘notchy’ or ‘clicky’ either prior to or just after the incident,” the agency said.

Reuters contributed to this report.